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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Medical Marijuana for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis


 
09-24-2012, 06:18 PM   #241
Kev
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I'm not trying to be a scare mongerer.... nor am I opposed to the use of cannabis for the treatment (or any supplemental lessening of any symptoms) of Crohns, or MS, or cancer. It may have come across that way because the info I provided was completely 1 sided. But there is a simple explanation for that. The info I posted, and the lack of any balance, is simply because I'm not taking a pro or con approach/attitude with the info. Just posting it on the off chance that someone who is involved/interested (one way or the other) could follow it up (in case it had slipped between the cracks). Case closed. I mean, with your traditional pharmaceutical meds, the info (pro or con) comes with. Whether one chooses to simply take the meds; without reading the disclaimers; is a personal choice. But, at least one has the option.

Now, if the study reporting the dramatic increase in testicular cancer is flawed, just wait for a while. I'm sure there will be a follow up where the stated position reverses. If another crops up that confirms the 1st; then men in the target age group need to know, and then must decide. I mean, it is one thing if it was a barely perceptible change in the risk factor.. but doubled? And, yes... cancers are survivable... mostly. It depends on the cancer... my dad died from pancreatic cancer. The survival rate for it isn't soooo good. And, speaking personally... battling Crohns is one thing, but having it AND battling cancer is another. I know. It pissed me off (pardon my turn of the phrase) to battle Crohns to a virtual standstill... only then to be faced with battling.. not one.. but two types/forms of cancer. Believe me, the diagnosis alone took a great deal out of me. And, I've been extremely lucky... it seems that, thanks in great part to the vigilence of my doctor, both have been nipped in the bud. I just got my 1st 'all clear' for the colon cancer this Friday past... (although the biopsy reports are still pending). I don't know (and I hope I never find out) what a 'positive' diagnosis would do to make my life with crohns more complex. Yes, Mr Armstrong did amazing things post diagnosis. I'm not sure what his response would be if he were asked if he wished he could totally have avoided dealing with testicular cancer. Just a hunch, but I'm betting he'd say YES!
Question is... if asked if someone/anyone... would like to avoid deailng with both cancer AND Crohns.. I'm guessing 9/10 would also say YES!. But, I could be wrong. If cannabis is the only choice... then you are damned if you do; damned if you don't. If it isn't the only choice... just popular because it is cannabis... then potentially affected folks need to do some soul searching. Like, am I using it because it is the ONLY thing I can use; or are some/any/all of my motives less than pure. That is one question no one can answer except the 'first' person. But, as the old saying goes... forewarned is fore armed. Okay?
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09-24-2012, 06:30 PM   #242
JohnnyRottenAppleseed
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Guys I placed a link to a site which sells non thc cannabis (no high)
What's the point? That's like eating fat free ice cream. ***Just Kidding***

I realize some people may not like the psychoactive properties.
09-25-2012, 09:27 AM   #243
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Hey Kevin,

I just wanted to say that I'm so glad to hear that you have good news regarding your cancer screens so far. I was diagnosed with colon cancer last august. Thankfully after a radical 17 hour surgery and 6 months now for chemo I am all clear. I was on Humira for 2.5 years I'm really not sure if it was that or the fact that I have had very active Crohn's for 28 years (I'm only 36), I suspect a combination of the two issues. I certainly wouldn't wish it on anyone. In retrospect I wish I had researched more "natural" methods but with anything in life it's all about the cost benefit ratio and what works or is acceptable for the individual. I hope all your biopsies come back negative.

All the best,

Kat
09-25-2012, 10:32 AM   #244
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My apologies, Kev. I wasn't accusing you of being a scaremonger. That comment was pointed towards negative news reports on cannabis in general and how they do little to educate on the healing properties and positive aspects of cannabis instead of just all the (possible) negative side effects.
09-25-2012, 03:20 PM   #245
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First, thanks for the well wishes. I was trying not to sweat this latest scope, but it ended up that way anyway. I was supposed to have it June past... booked time off work and everything.... only to have violent nausea (1st time it has ever happened, hope its last) from the prep... threw up majority of it... which meant rescheduling. I think waiting those extra 3 months played on my mind. But, enough of that. I didn't mean to hijack the thread just express appreciation of the well wishes.

As for an apology, none is needed. I wasn't rebuttling any 'implied' accusation per se (nor did I percieve any). It is all a matter of context. Is a medical disclaimer an example of scare mongering? I don't see them as such. More an example of corporate cover your ass. But, even if I were to set my big business bias aside and grant them that their disclaimers are done only with the best of intentions; then we.. the great unwashed have to accept/expect that some of the info provided will be VERY scary.
Are there 'professional researchers' out there who are nothing more than intellectual guns for hire? You bet. Do many of them tilt the playing field to do research where the outcome has been pre-set by whoevers pockets they are being paid from? Again, you bet. But, is every instance where the results of research don't mesh with our personal take (or stake) in things another example of such? I don't think so. And, I don't think any rational person does either. Unless they are letting their own bias completely blind them to reality. And, the one thing I think every Crohnie needs to cherish above all else is realities.

Like, this site is a resource whose value to the Crohns community is incalcuable? (sp?). I think each and every one of us owes it to each other to keep the info available on here as real.. as comprehensive... as honest... as unbiased .. as humanly possible. I say that because this is the one thing we CAN control. And, literally, the only thing no one can take away from us... other than ourselves. And a huge chunk of that is reputation.
If we start tilting the playing field; if we give into the temptation to hide unpopular truths; if we start spin doctoring research, data, whatever... simply because we don't like it... then we are jeopardizing the whole kit and caboodle.

Personally, I think cannabis should be completely de-criminalized. I think it should be sold the way alcohol or tobacco is sold (like, those 2 vie to be the top killer of people). I think taking a 'soft' drug like cannabis totally out of the realm of criminals would do more to stem the drug trade than every measure by every law enforcement agency around the world to date has accomplished. But, that is just my humble opinion. Nothing more.

In the interim, until that day arrives, providing all the bona fide info that can be sourced both pro and con on the issue of treating/alleviating crohns with cannabis has to be our SOP. Or at least, that is how I would hope it would be done. Why? I have sons. Both of them are under 35... If they developed this disease, I would sleep much better if I knew... knew with absolute certainty.. that they could come here and get the scoop, the whole scoop, and nothing but the scoop. Unvarnished, unadulterated, REAL scoop.

For instance... I never knew that THC and CBD levels were linked, and dependant. Or, that if you elevated THC, CBD would drop. Couldn't be avoided. Or that lowering the CBD might cause delusions, even schitzhoid episodes, in adolescents. Or so some now say. Something to note, something to keep an eye on, waiting for corroboration or a total reversal... whatever. Thing of it is... this info shouldn't be swept under the rug or hidden under a barrel simply because it might not sit well with some. We simply have too many adolescents, or parents of same... who are desperately looking for all the info they can get on potential treatments. And it has to be all the info. Not just the stuff we personally agree with. OK, I'm done now. I'll climb down off my pulpit and shut up. Okay?
09-25-2012, 05:32 PM   #246
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Hi everyone, looks like you've made a nice community here. I found this thread through Google and wanted to share my experience.

I was diagnosed with Crohns when I was 13, after six months of hell. However an Asacol prescription put me in remission rather quickly and all was well. I have not had any symptoms in the 14 years since - I've been lucky. I never took the Asacol seriously and usually took it once a day rather than the three times it was prescribed. I would even get careless and not take it for months at a time, with no trouble. I never bothered to avoid any foods though I have a healthy diet.

Now though, I think I may be having my first flare up since being diagnosed. Although I don't have that intense stabbing pain I remember, I've been having diarrhea 4-5 times a day, and it's making me not want to eat.

The reason I'm posting in this thread is that I've been a heavy marijuana user since the senior year of high school, that's nearly every day for seven years. (To help alleviate the occasional concerns in this thread that marijuana may have a detrimental effect on intelligence or productivity, I did very well at an ivy league university and am now getting a PhD in complexity studies. But that's neither here nor there). Anyways, the start of this flare up coincided with my stopping marijuana. For a variety of reasons, mostly financial, I decided to stop temporarily (I do feel like it has played a positive role in my life). And then boom, a week or so later, Crohns symptoms.

I think it's most likely a coincidence, but I know long-term marijuana use can have lasting effects on things like receptor levels, and I was wondering if anyone else has has a similar experience. Not so much marijuana alleviating symptoms, we all know it does that, but marijuana cessation triggering a flareup. And yes, before it's mentioned, I will be seeing my specialist later this week.

Also my two cents regarding the cancer research, while it is important to know the positives and negatives of our lifestyle choices (for marijuana, there are definitely both), we need to keep the risks in perspective. The media tends to overstate these things. I have a similar or greater risk of getting in a car accident every single day than I do of ever getting testicular cancer in my lifetime. Doubling the cancer risk does not change that. In fact, doubling a small probability is not a big deal. It's not like if you told me, a priori, that the risk was 0.8% I would be scared but if you told me 0.4% I would feel better. That said, it is a disconcerting study for someone with my history, and I can only hope the positive effects of marijuana with respect to cancer risks outweigh this new finding.

Last edited by hharr; 09-25-2012 at 07:19 PM.
09-25-2012, 07:16 PM   #247
David
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There's a part of me that wonders if you never had Crohn's (misdiagnosis especially since Asacol would VERY rarely induce remission for that long) and your current diarrhea is due to marijuana withdrawal (can happen). This would obviously be the best explanation. But if you think it's a flare, please get an appointment with a GI.
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09-26-2012, 10:32 AM   #248
hharr
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Hmm, that never occurred to me. I'll definitely ask the doctor. He's not the one who diagnosed me so he might have a different perspective. Thanks for the feedback.
09-26-2012, 10:42 AM   #249
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To elaborate a little, I could see the medical marijuana MAYBE keeping things at bay for that long especially if you respond extremely well to it. But there's that 4-5 year remission window between diagnosis and utilization of marijuana where you were just on Asacol (very unimpressive data in Crohn's disease) which has me wondering. Hopefully I'm correct but there's obviously a good chance I'm wrong so please don't act on this in any way without a thorough check by a GI.
09-26-2012, 10:58 AM   #250
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I think it could be a little bit of both. I was using MM for a while and was fine. I thought I was in remission. But, then I stopped and felt HORRIBLE for about a month. I know that coming off of MM after a prolonged period can cause weakness and extreme tiredness. But, at the same time, you are taking something away from your body that is known to ease pain and inflammation, so as the MM leaves your body these things come back or become more apparent.

That's my take on it anyway. I could be wrong. It would be awesome if we could get some studies on this for MM Crohn's patients.
09-26-2012, 11:05 AM   #251
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Oh... well... I just found this. It's also on the first page of this thread.

Treatment of Crohn's disease with cannabis: an observational study.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
The marijuana plant cannabis is known to have therapeutic effects, including improvement of inflammatory processes. However, no report of patients using cannabis for Crohn's disease (CD) was ever published.

OBJECTIVES:
To describe the effects of cannabis use in patients suffering from CD.

METHODS:
In this retrospective observational study we examined disease activity, use of medication, need for surgery, and hospitalization before and after cannabis use in 30 patients (26 males) with CD. Disease activity was assessed by the Harvey Bradshaw index for Crohn's disease.

RESULTS:
Of the 30 patients 21 improved significantly after treatment with cannabis. The average Harvey Bradshaw index improved from 14 +/- 6.7 to 7 +/- 4.7 (P < 0.001). The need for other medication was significantly reduced. Fifteen of the patients had 19 surgeries during an average period of 9 years before cannabis use, but only 2 required surgery during an average period of 3 years of cannabis use.

CONCLUSIONS:
This is the first report of cannabis use in Crohn's disease in humans. The results indicate that cannabis may have a positive effect on disease activity, as reflected by reduction in disease activity index and in the need for other drugs and surgery. Prospective placebo-controlled studies are warranted to fully evaluate the efficacy and side effects of cannabis in CD.
09-29-2012, 10:30 PM   #252
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Now though, I think I may be having my first flare up since being diagnosed. Although I don't have that intense stabbing pain I remember, I've been having diarrhea 4-5 times a day, and it's making me not want to eat.
I'm the same, in addition to bloody mucous stools when I quit cannabis. I'd rather not be anemic...I'm pretty sure that if I was getting this kind of reaction from quitting any medication then I'd be very inclined to go back on the medication.
10-08-2012, 02:07 PM   #253
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Hello all,

Just a quick question:

Has anyone experienced any changes, in what seems to be eye pressure after consuming MM? I understand that upon consumption, eyes tend to get red - due to lowered eye pressure and increased blood flow. However, I've been finding that my eye(s) (usually one eye over the other) tends to be red the next day as well - my blood vessels seem to be expanded (almost like an inflammation) and very visible. Although I don't feel much pain, I do feel some sort of light throbbing, which comes and goes occasionally throughout the day..

I did have an episode of Episcleritis (an inflammation in the white portion of the eye) a few months ago - however, this was deemed to be a symptom of my Crohn's disease..I'm wondering if there is any relation?

Any feedback would be helpful. Thanks all.
10-08-2012, 02:25 PM   #254
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Well, MM is supposed to relieve eye pressure and is known to be helpful to conditions such as Glaucoma which is caused by intraocular pressure.

Have you tried using eye drops to remove the redness? Do you have allergies?

Perhaps you should explain the redness and throbbing to your ophthalmologist. It's very possible that maybe your eyes are becoming very dry, which I've heard can happen with Crohn's patients. I had a period where one of my eyes was very scratchy and dry for a while. I was told it was Crohn's related and given some lubricating drops for the eye and it eventually went away.
10-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #255
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No allergies that I know of. I have used eye drops, however, only ones like visine and clear eyes - upon usage, it does go away - but I don't want to constantly be using those types of drops.
10-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #256
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Yeah... I understand. I think they can make things worse over time. Maybe try out some artificial tears. Those are different from visine and clear eyes just in that they are primarily lubricating. If it gets worse I would definitely go back to the doctor.
10-16-2012, 12:16 AM   #257
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I'm posting here because I thought I remember David mentioning the private forum being more active. I'm curious as to what's said in there
10-16-2012, 11:12 AM   #258
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You're able to access it here: http://www.crohnsforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=63
10-17-2012, 04:22 PM   #259
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I just wanted to say I am sorry for posting on this subject on another forum. I didn't read forum rules before posting. This allowed me to eat and leave my house for the first time in years. I got too excited and just wanted to tell others how cannabis oil changed my situation so quickly. I realize this may not be the answer for everyone and is still somewhat controversial. Again, I am sorry.
10-17-2012, 05:27 PM   #260
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Nothing to apologize for, it's fine. I'm glad MMJ helps you
10-25-2012, 04:44 AM   #261
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Since my troubles started I've felt that after smoking some cannabis (without tobacco) I feel less stressed, the bowels feel more relaxed and I can actually calm down and focus on other things. And the pain mostly vanishes.
11-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #262
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I started out as a recreational user around 18-19 years of age and quickly realized that it put me into complete remission. Somebody earlier in the thread said something like "we have to re-learn how to use cannabis in a medicinal matter" a statement I completely agree with.

I recently quit using medical cannabis for 1 month and all my symptoms returned very quickly. Saw my doc, he told me to get back on my cannabis tinctures and edibles. Before the month that I quit using I was vaporizing/dropping tincture once a day to stave off my symptoms, and I was in the best remission of my life for a solid 3 years.

I have some strong Rick Simpson oil and some good tincture to hold me over for the next few weeks. Hopefully it will put me into remission again soon.

I've been diagnosed with Pancolitis since age 11. Been on almost every drug....to no avail. Prednisone really took a toll on my body during my puberty years. We all have to remember that there is no cure for Crohns or Colitis, but there are simply drugs that mask the symptoms. Cannabis seems to mask these symptoms better than any other drug for me. Just my two cents on the subject.

Even though I'm sure the cannabis will put me back into remission soon, I'm still seeing my Gastroenterologist soon to get some tests done as well as a long overdue colonoscopy. My last colonoscopy was clean and clear, and I hope for the same this time. Thanks for reading and I hope others can find relief with the use of cannabis.
11-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #263
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FullM3lt, let us know how the tests go, please!
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11-06-2012, 05:19 PM   #264
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FullM3lt, let us know how the tests go, please!
Will do! I should be getting my blood work back within the next few days and I will be scheduling my colonoscopy when I go see my GI

I attribute my recent flare to the halting of my medical cannabis use, but I just want to be sure. A few tests will put my mind at ease. The flare i'm having right now is not too bad, but it still sucks all the life out of me. I'm sure you all understand how that works...

I only recently started using my tincture and edibles again so they will take time to build up in my system. Really hoping that I can start to feel better before the colonoscopy, but I'm still long overdue

Thanks for reading guys. This forum rocks!
11-06-2012, 05:50 PM   #265
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Where do you get the tinctures? Thinking of trying it myself, I made the decision to come of Azathioprine early in the summer, hated what it was doing to my body as secondary side effects. The GI will not like it, but my flare was settled, had gained back some weight, etc.
11-06-2012, 05:56 PM   #266
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Where do you get the tinctures? Thinking of trying it myself, I made the decision to come of Azathioprine early in the summer, hated what it was doing to my body as secondary side effects. The GI will not like it, but my flare was settled, had gained back some weight, etc.
Well medical cannabis is legal here in my state (WA) with a recommendation from a qualified physician. So I just go to the local "dispensary" or I make it myself.

The people there are great and help me find whatever works best. If you're from Missouri I don't know how to help you...as far as I know, medical cannabis is not legal in Missouri (unfortunately)

I don't want to advise you to do anything illegal, but it's worked wonders for me. If you have any other means of obtaining it...I'd say go for it...IMO there is nothing morally wrong with using cannabis for medical reasons, regardless of the law.
11-06-2012, 05:58 PM   #267
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I am sure you are right, I've not heard it's been made legal for medical use yet.
11-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #268
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FullM3lt, let us know how the tests go, please!
Got a call today and all my blood test results are normal. I was worried because of inflamed lymph nodes and a slightly enlarged spleen, but it must just be my immune system going haywire right now. I'm feeling very relieved.

Still going into my gastro on the 13th and scheduling a colonoscopy. Feeling MUCH better today. Took my rick simpson oil last night before bed and had a nice firm stool this morning
11-08-2012, 10:47 AM   #269
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That's great news!! I know you are relieved. Yeah, our immune systems do go haywire sometimes.
11-08-2012, 04:31 PM   #270
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That's great news!! I know you are relieved. Yeah, our immune systems do go haywire sometimes.
Thanks

Still feeling a bit off, but I had the energy to go for a 10 mile bike ride this morning and now i'm off to work on one of my houses (taking advantage of the poor housing market)

Have a good day people!!
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